05 January 2007

Isamu Noguchi -- Hérodiade stage set, 1944

Without the direct physical involvement of living figures, Noguchi's stage set seems rather stark and cryptic. It almost appears that there's a face-off between the cross-shaped figure on the right with the complex, overwrought figure on the right. The central element seems to be set back, as if in judgment of the two. The tapering black backdrop creates a compressed, distorted sense of space. The setting seems fixed in stone like a relic of an ancient battle with only bones and basic structural framework of a shelter remaining as remnants of an earlier, more majestic time.

Photograph by Arnold Eagle.

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